Brooke called the first reindeer ranch she could find the number for while she hurried to leave the boxes outside for the recyclable trash. When she returned to the shop, someone from the ranch picked up the call.
I’m Brooke Cerise, and a reindeer calf showed up—” She quit speaking when she
saw a tall, dark, and handsome man walk into her shop wearing a suit, a parka,
and a badge. He’d better not be the bozo at the police bureau who had hung up
man glanced at the reindeer calf and then moved through the customers taking
pictures of him. He reached Brooke, his posture saying he was in charge and
going to get to the bottom of this. “This deer belongs to Wilding Reindeer
Ranch. Do you care to explain why he’s in your shop?” He raised a dark brow. He
had an Indiana Jones-type build—muscled enough to swing across caverns and
climb tall peaks, nice broad shoulders, physically fit, not like he sat around
in an office eating too many doughnuts. “This is your shop, correct?”
I’m Brooke Cerise, the owner.”
was when she smelled the officer’s scent and realized he was a red wolf like
her. Wild, wolfish, and an Ivory fragrance. A red-wolf pack was located
outside Portland, but on her visits to see her great-aunt, she hadn’t had time
to meet anyone. She hoped it wouldn’t be a problem for her to move into the
area without contacting the pack leaders first. Did he belong to the pack? Not
that she could ask him in front of her human customers.
said to the man on the phone, “Uh, sorry, it looks like I just found where the
problem. Thanks for calling and checking with us.”
welcome. Have a great day.” She ended the call. “I called it in, but the
officer I spoke to thought it was a crank call. The reindeer just walked into
Detective Wilding, an investigator with the Portland Police Bureau. I’ve called
the ranch, and someone’s coming to pick him up.” He had a nice, manly voice,
warm and sexy like one of her favorite narrators of the romance audiobooks that
she enjoyed listening to. He took a deep breath of her scent too. She wondered
if he’d known her great-aunt.
realized she was getting so much publicity that the police must have seen the
news that the reindeer was at her open house and sent an investigator to
need to get your statement,” he said, all official-like.
if she were at fault for the reindeer calf being here! Hopefully, the other
local wolves were a lot more welcoming than he was. That was all she needed
though. To be considered a rogue wolf who committed crimes!
the way, you don’t leave anything important in your trash, do you? Like
credit-card or bank-account information without shredding it?”
was looking at your boxes.”
to use for packing boxes?”
people crowded into her shop. Brooke sure hoped people were going to purchase
something and not just come to see the reindeer. Though she had to admit the
little fellow made for a great marketing tool with all the social network
shares that were going on. It was putting her shop on the map. He was adorable,
and he seemed to be enjoying all the company.
of the customers were still texting about the reindeer and posting about her
shop, and a few people had migrated to the drinks and food and begun to enjoy
them. Then a couple of customers brought items over to her checkout counter.
why don’t you do your police-officer duty and take care of the reindeer? I’ll
give you a statement when things slow down, Officer,” she told Detective
Wilding. She didn’t expect him to do anything with the reindeer, but she hoped
he’d leave her alone while she was checking out her customers.
he corrected her. He situated himself right next to the checkout counter, waiting
for her to finish ringing up her sales.
ladies thanked her and smiled at the detective, who smiled back at them with a
little lift to one corner of his mouth, giving him a charmingly handsome
appearance. The ladies took their packages and left. Brooke glanced in the
direction of the other people in her shop, wishing a whole bunch of customers
would inundate her with merchandise to ring up so she could ignore the
detective further, but nope. That meant she was at the detective’s mercy. Again.
give me your statement now.” He stood there tall and imposing, his dark hair
windswept, his dark-brown eyes capturing her gaze, powerful, demanding. There
was no smile for her.
was eating holly berries off my shrub. Someone had left the gate open.”
you, of course.”
course not. I always close it.” Brooke folded her arms across her chest. She
knew that was a defensive posture when she had nothing to be defensive about.
She had nothing to do with stealing the reindeer!
you didn’t lock it.”
I do.” She let out her breath. “I must have forgotten.”
you didn’t forget to close the gate.”
might be gorgeous to look at, but he was annoying her to pieces. She was a
law-abiding citizen, and she wasn’t in the market for a reindeer calf. How
could he make her feel like she was guilty of a crime just because she must not
have locked her gate last night?
latch needs to be replaced.” She hated having to concede that to the detective.
latch, hmm,” he said, writing it down.
Oh, for heaven’s sake. You’d think she’d committed the crime of the century!
Joy to the Wolves
by Terry Spear
Publication Date: 9/29/2020
Meet the shifters of the Red Wolf
Close quarters make for a cozy
As Christmas approaches, red wolf
shifter Brooke Cerise unexpectedly inherits an antique shop in Portland,
Oregon. But when a missing reindeer calf turns up on her property, she becomes
embroiled in a kidnapping case and the primary suspect of far-too-intriguing
shifter Detective Josh Wilding.
Josh doesn’t intend to fall for
the mysterious new woman in town, but Brooke gets under his skin from the
moment they meet, and he can’t help his instinct to protect her. These red
wolves are both on the hunt for love, but there’s a mystery to solve before
they can enjoy their holiday happy-ever-after.
USA Today bestselling author Terry Spear has written over forty
paranormal romances. Heart of the Wolf was named a Publishers Weekly Best
Book of the Year and Billionaire in Wolf’s Clothing was a Romantic Times
Top Pick. A retired officer of the U.S. Army Reserves, Terry also creates award-winning
teddy bears. She lives in Spring, Texas.